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Sozialanthropologische Vorfragen zu soziologischen Problemen (Soziale Bewegung und sozialer Aufstieg)
Neue Folge / New Series, Vol. 7, No. 1 (1957), pp. 14-22
Published by: Duncker & Humblot GmbH
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43644241
Page Count: 9
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Sociology in its formal aspect tends to restrict its investigations to social constellations in the strictest sense, i. e., without regard to historical circumstances, cultural patterns, and other factors which, though socially relevant, are not social in character. One of these factors, which has come to be neglected as a consequence of the growing insight into the fallacies of Social Darwinism, is the innate endowment of the human beings of whom every social system is composed. It is true that genetic differentiation does not, as a rule, take precedence over differentiation by environment, but it is equally true that genetic factors may acquire decisive importance as soon as the 'law of shortage' comes into operation. One of the cases in which this fact became apparent was the Marxian prediction that the proletariat, due to the development of social conditions, was going to take over the rôle of the future élite. This hypothesis has not been borne out by the results of social movements in the last one hundred years. From the anthropological point of view, it was disproved by Niceforo, who found the proletariat in all respects inferior to the bourgeoisie. The statement seems warranted that the decisive factor for achieving social success is intelligence, and that this in turn is predominantly a result of native endowment. Social mobility, therefore, has to be seen not only as a process of sifting by education and bpportunity, but also as a process of selection by natural talent. Those families of the working class who, by way of this process, were successful in their endeavours to attain middle-class status, realised that birth control was one of the effective means for promoting and protecting their more favourable status. But this has led to a state of affairs where talent, in order to rise on the social scale, does no longer regenerate proportionately to the demand for maintaining, or possibly enlarging, the leading classes of modern society. To the sociological problem of upward mobility is thus added the socio-anthropological problem of the loss of talent.
Sociologus © 1957 Duncker & Humblot GmbH